It must really be the 2011 NFL Mock Draft season now. ESPN guru Mel Kiper is out with his first 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and fellow ESPN draft expert Todd McShay is out with his second mock today, right alongside Kiper’s. Let’s look at how the two ESPN heavyweights have the draft playing out for the New York Giants and New York Jets.
Kiper has the Giants taking Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey at No. 19, and says this:
His brother went to Pittsburgh at No. 18 overall last year, looked like a Pro Bowl player early and became one late in his rookie season. The other Pouncey has similar attributes. He’s durable, smart and versatile along the interior. By far the best player at his position in this draft, he should pay immediate dividends for the Giants and be effective as both a run- and pass-blocker.
McShay has the Giants taking Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, and says this:
The Giants have spent a lot of money on ends and pass-rushers in recent years, and Liuget would help provide a strong presence in the middle as an every-down defensive tackle.
Winner: Kiper. As a Giants fan I would love the Pouncey selection. The Giants absolutely need to revamp the offensive line, and both guard and center are question marks right now. Pouncey could find himself starting from Day 1. As for Liuget, I don’t like to draft based purely on need, but defensive tackle should be way, way down the Giants priority list.
Kiper has the Jets selecting Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Here is why:
The other option here might be to take UCLA free safety Rahim Moore, but I like Wilkerson with the Jets. He offers great value as a defensive lineman to develop, because if he came back, he’d be a likely top-15 pick in 2012. At over 6-4 and 306 pounds, he slots in with the Jets’ 3-4 as a defensive end, but was a penetrating defensive tackle. The only guy who’s had more sacks than Wilkerson over the last two years from that position is Nebraska’s Jared Crick, another big-time prospect. Scheme-versatile, Wilkerson is a great growth-piece for Rex Ryan.
McShay has the Jets going with Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor. Here is why:
Veteran NT Kris Jenkins has played only seven games during the past two seasons and the Jets cannot count rely on him to be a constant presence in the middle of their defense. Taylor has the size to anchor in the middle and good feet for a 350-pounder.
Winner: McShay. Admittedly, I don’t know much about these two players. A 3-4 defense requires a dominant nose-tackle, though, and if Taylor can be one he is a great choice.